Disabled Dubliner Craig setting his sights on MMA glory
Dubliner Craig Rankin hopes to be one of the first people with a disability to compete in MMA – thanks to Conor McGregor. The 22-year-old Rialto native is paralysed in his right leg and needs a special type cast to walk.
He sometimes needs to use a wheelchair but for the past ten months he has been training alongside some of Ireland’s top Mixed Martial Arts fighters.
Craig told the Herald that last year he spiralled into a depression and put on weight, forcing him to use his wheelchair fulltime for six months.
A chance meeting with Conor McGregor in a McDonalds spurred him to join Straight Blast Gym (SGB) in Tallaght, where The Notorious began his career.
“He asked me and my friend if we’d do the training ourselves and I said ‘well I’m disabled’ and he just looked straight at me and said ‘so what’?,” he said.
“The fact that someone like him says ‘so what’ I was thinking if he can believe I can do it, then why can’t I?”
Craig doesn’t consider himself someone with a disability because, as he says, he “can do anything an able-bodied person can do”.
“I hope it helps other people realise who have a disability realise that they can do this too,” he said.